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Paper Topic:

introduction to law and regulatory framework

Introduction to Law and Regulatory Framework

Part A

There are several rules of statutory interpretation evolved over time Most often discussed are literal rule , golden rule , mischief rule and purposive rule . English language in legislation is often inaccurate and ambiguous giving rise to different interpretations other than the intended meaning of the statutes and leading to guilty getting not punished and deserving denied justice by applying some of the above said rules of interpretation . Some of the trivial issues like he or his ' meaning she or her ' also , singular denoting plural

also are now covered by the Interpretation Act 1978 . The first three rules said above are generally seen in elementary law text books and they have not been very helpful in helping the judges to decide according to the legislative intentions . The rules are explained below

The Literal Rule

This rule implies that words that require interpretation are given their dictionary meaning . For example , in the case of London and North Eastern Railway Co v Berriman (1946 , the widow of the deceased due to an accident was denied compensation as the Fatal Accidents Act 1864 allowed compensation for fatal accidents while involved in ` relaying or repairing . But the deceased had been oiling which according to the court was not relaying or repairing of the track but maintenance of it and therefore his widow was denied compensation . Though this way interpretation facilitates faster decisions since meaning can be found easily from the dictionary and gives supremacy to the parliament which legislated the act , it results in incongruous decisions just because the words of the acts as in the present act are clear and unambiguous though legislative intentions may not be the same . In such cases the judges expect parliament to make necessary changes in the relevant Act if need be and restrict themselves to the literal meanings alone

The Golden Rule

As a variation to the literal rule , Golden rule has two ways of approach , one `narrow ' and another `wide . The former is narrowing down to the nearest meaning from variety of meanings available . It can be illustrated by what was decided in R v Allen (1872 . The question was about the meaning of the word `marry . The court found that two meanings could be attributed to it . One was legally binding relationship with another and the second , undergoing the ceremony . Since the judge felt that the first meaning would give a way to escape responsibility of bigamy , it narrowed down the meaning to performance of a marriage ceremony . On the other hand , the latter `wide approach , is adopted if literal meaning of the word would result in ridiculous outcome . Thus in Re Sigsworth (1935 , wherein mother had been murdered by her son , her estate would still be inherited by him if the literal meaning of the word `next of kin ' was followed by the court . As the court felt that it was an undesirable outcome , it adopted a different approach as a wide one to deny son the inheritance...

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